Commentary on the Gospel of
6th Sunday of Easter: Love of Christ breaks barriers
- The Advocate, the Spirit of Truth comes
- You are the beloved of the Father and the Son
While on pilgrimage to the Holy land, we had a Jewish tour guide who refused to enter Bethlehem and Egypt (on the way to Mount Sinai), instead he arranged with another person to guide us through. He had a single reason: not to be defied! We recall why the Samaritan woman retorted, ‘you, a Jew, ask a drink from me, a Samaritan and a woman? We also remember that the Samaritans would not let Jesus pass through their town while he was on the way to Jerusalem. Obviously, the Samaritans were bitterly at variance with the Jews at the time of Jesus; and the Jews would not want to be defied entering their territory.
One of the wonders of Christ’s victory over death is ‘breaking barriers’ between ‘enemies or rivalries!’ In today’s Gospel reading our Lord offers us threefold bonanzas, should one love him: “whoever loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and reveal myself to him.” And the first reading presents us with the activities of those who chose to love Jesus – breaking barriers of enmity! Jesus loves them too and is with them!! Philip boldly went to preach in Samaria and consequent to his fruitful apostolate, Peter and John were delegated to go to confirm the new converts in Samaria. We notice that though these are Jews, no one talks about their tribe or place of origin again as they witness to the risen Lord! The barrier of division has been broken!! The focus has shifted: now on Jesus Christ!! Once we open up to the presence of Jesus Christ, just forget it, every potential barrier that separates us gets broken. Let us place Jesus at the centre.
Furthermore, our Lord offers us another promise, he will send the Advocate, the Spirit of truth to us, because he will not leave us orphans. Gradually, we approach the solemnity of the Pentecost, the advent of the Holy Spirit. We have the responsibility of disposing ourselves properly, mind and body, for the reception of His transforming gifts! Let us continue to invoke his spiritual animation in all our daily undertakings.